Protect Your Identity
If you suspect that you have been the victim of identity theft or a scam, contact your financial institution immediately.
Good Rules to Follow to Avoid Becoming a Victim
- Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request. Whether it is over the phone, by text, or on the Internet. Emails and Internet pages created by phishers can look exactly like the real secure emails and Internet pages they are impersonating. If you did not initiate the communication, do not provide any information.
- If you are unsure whether a contact is legitimate, contact the financial institution. You can find phone numbers and websites on the monthly statements you receive from your financial institution, or you can look up the company in a phone book or on the Internet. You should be the one to initiate contact, using information you have verified yourself.
- Never provide your account information or password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request. A financial institution would never ask you to verify your account information or confirm a password online. Thieves armed with this information and your account number can help themselves to your money.
- Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct. If your account statement is late arriving or does not arrive, call your financial institution and find out why. If your financial institution offers electronic account access, check your account activity online regularly to catch suspicious activity.
- Check your credit report regularly – get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com
- Put your home and cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov.
- Opt out of the pre-screened credit card offerings that clog your mailbox daily by registering at www.optoutprescreen.com.
- Install a reputable antivirus software program on all computers and keep them current.
- Make your password as long and as complex as possible. With VSB Online Banking, you can create a password that is up to 8 characters long! Throw in symbols and numbers too for an added bonus of security! Avoid anything that is predictable and in sequence.
- Use more than one password. Using a simple password for the local newspaper website is one thing but when it comes to your bank account you want to be as secure as possible.
- Only use trustworthy computers. Shared public computers like those in internet cafes, public libraries, and hotel lobbies could be connected to keystroke loggers or infected with viruses.
ATM and Debit Card Safety
These habits can keep you and your money safe while you’re using an ATM or Debit card.
Protect your PIN (Personal Identification Number)
- If you do share a card with family members, impress upon them that they must memorize the PIN and NEVER divulge it to anyone.
- Never give your PIN over the phone, especially cell phones.
- Choose a PIN that is unique. Use a number other than your birthday, Social Security number or other obvious number.
- Do not share your PIN or account number with anyone.
Check Out the Environment as You Approach the ATM
- Avoid facilities in dark or remote places.
- Avoid free standing ATMs on street corners. It is best to use an ATM machine at a financial institution.
- If bystanders seem to be loitering rather than conducting business, go to another machine or come back later.
- If someone seems to take interest in you or your transaction, report suspicious behavior to the police – but leave the area first.
- When using a drive-through ATM, keep all doors locked and all windows up, except for the driver’s window.
Examine the ATM Before You Use It
- Never enter your PIN in any terminal that does not look genuine, has been modified, has a suspicious device attached, or is operating in a suspicious manner. See below for ATM Scams.
Be Prepared to Conduct Your Transaction When You Approach the ATM
- Remove your cash, receipt and card after every transaction. Never leave receipts behind at the ATM.
- Have any deposits prepared before you approach the ATM. Make sure the ATM envelope has been accepted before leaving.
- Have your card ready and know what transaction or transactions you want to conduct.
- Shield the screen and keypad with your body as you use the ATM to prevent others from seeing your PIN.
Report Lost, Stolen, or Compromised Cards IMMEDIATELY
- If you believe that your card and/or PIN has been lost, stolen, compromised, or that someone has transferred or may transfer money from your account without your permission, call 256-332-3600.
- Examine your statements promptly to identify unauthorized transactions.